The resolution of the long-standing issues regarding cargo delays and excessive fees at Nigerian airports has shown promising signs. To tackle this problem, the Federal Government, led by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, is implementing measures to establish a comprehensive cargo bill of rights. The primary objectives behind this initiative are to boost export activities and eliminate corrupt practices within the system, as the esteemed AviaCargo committee recommends. Aviation World has recently brought to light an intriguing pattern wherein cargo originating from Nigeria consistently faces rejection in international markets, notably Europe and America. The primary reason behind this is the apprehension surrounding the quality of the products.
Among airports in Africa, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and Lagos Airport stand out due to their exorbitant fees. These excessive charges have received criticism from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), as they pose a significant obstacle to the expansion and profitability of local airlines. Cargo delays and exorbitant fees at airports are flagged by stakeholders as potential causes for significant economic reduction. It is estimated that the global air cargo sector incurs a significant loss of around $500 million per day due to delays alone.
Five-stage project plan of the sector is nearing its conclusion.
During the monthly briefing led by Mr. Kabir Mohammed, Managing Director of FAAN, Ikechi Uko, who is the Aviacargo Coordinator on his part, revealed that the five-stage project plan is nearing its conclusion. The completion of the project involves not only the collation of data but also the crucial task of drafting detailed reports by Subject Matter experts. The committee is responsible for the project has outlined ten key points that have been earmarked for immediate implementation.
His presentation showcased a remarkable feature, which included the FAAN Cargo Bill of Rights, aimed at ensuring the expedited, transparent, and effective handling of every commodity entering Nigerian airports. By establishing a designated cargo village, he envisions a revolutionary concept of familiarizing and converting unknown products into recognized goods. The transformation of unfamiliar Nigerian exports, which typically decline due to their unidentified nature and lack of traceability, is on the horizon. The Aviacargo Village is responsible for converting unidentified or unprotected goods into recognized goods prior to their exportation.
Necessary requirements for the cargo ecosystem will be met.
Enforcing international standards is imperative for Nigeria to maintain its global presence. Nigeria has set a commendable example by effectively implementing IATA IOSA for airlines, and now it should extend a similar framework to players in the cargo industry. A comprehensive system of registration and certification is crucial, encompassing everything from farms involved in the supply chain to cargo agents, handling companies, and freight forwarders. This hierarchical approach ensures that each entity participating in the cargo ecosystem meets the necessary requirements for smooth operations.
Amidst all this, the Managing Director of FAAN committed to assisting in creating fresh Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for cargo terminal operators in Nigeria. He aims to establish a corruption-free environment by introducing the cargo bill of rights and enforcing new SOPs and Service Level Agreements (SLA). These measures will not only enhance the credibility of exports from Nigeria but also minimize the occurrence of rejected goods. FAAN has made an important observation regarding the upcoming implementation of a groundbreaking set of Service Level Agreements aimed at revolutionizing the entirety of Cargo Operations in Nigeria.
Overall quality and stages of the value chain will be enhanced.
According to him, by introducing a novel, five-tier secure supply chain route, the aviacargo industry in Nigeria will observe a significant enhancement in its overall quality, incorporating all stages of the value chain from the initial farms. Consequently, every item that fails to meet the pathway standards and cannot be traced will be strictly prohibited from entering the airport. The FAAN management will actively participate in the retreat to finalize the report, which signifies the commencement of a transformative era for aviation cargo within Nigeria.